Sunday, July 15, 2007

'Perfect Stranger' is far from perfection

** out of ****

According to Perfect Stranger, actions have consequences, if that is true then everybody involved in this film should never be able to step foot on a movie set again. Halle Berry, still recovering from 2004s ultra-flop Catwoman, and Bruce Willis star in one of 2007s many disappointing suspense-thrillers, ranking in the with Premonition and The Reaping.

Perfect Stranger is centered on Rowena (Halle Berry), a strong-headed investigative journalist for a New York newspaper. Waiting for a subway she runs into her childhood friend Grace (Nicki Aycox). Grace is a woman scorned, out to find the married rich top ad executive, Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis). Grace claims to have met him online, having an affair with her. Grace hasn’t heard from Harrison for days, leaving messages, and is out to tell his wife about the whole thing.

Soon after their encounter Grace shows up dead, Rowena thinking Harrison did it. Isn’t that a pretty big conclusion?

Rowena goes undercover at Hill’s ad agency, with help from her computer savvy co-journalist Miles (Giovanni Ribisi), to find the truth about Grace’s murder. As the movie progresses, Hill, known for his interoffice flings, seems to become more and more likely to have committed the crime and his wife more suspicious about his whereabouts.

Perfect Stranger is pretty much a game of cat-and-mouse. Full of red herrings and plot twists Perfect should be a nail-bitter. The thing is, you aren’t even clenching on the armrest. The tension is nowhere to be found, mainly because it is hard to have plot twists when there isn’t really a plot to twist.

Every character in Perfect Stranger has dark secrets. Though they are so dark you really don’t care about the characters, whether if they are guilty or innocent, live or die.

The ending is completely implausible, no matter what way you look at it and the more it is being explained the worse it sounds.

Willis gives a half-decent performance and Ribisi gives one of his best. Berry did a decent job, but due to poor editing, which also hurt the story, it seems as if she is having a mood-swing in almost every scene.

The end contradicting the movies message about “actions have consequences”; Perfect Stranger is a notch above Berry’s Catwoman and Willis’ The Whole Ten Yards, but that doesn’t say much either.

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